removing invasive species is hard work…

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Prayer of Confession by Kathy Swaar

We confess, Holy One, it’s hard.
Hard to hear your still, small voice
amid the million others
screaming a million different things at us
every. single. day.

Bombarded with rhetoric, buried in headlines – all of them sensational! –
we confess, Sacred Presence, we’re overwhelmed;
distracted, confounded, confused.

We chase the wrong rabbits down the wrong holes,
ask the wrong questions,
then – even as we plead with you in prayer –
fail to quiet our minds and hearts
enough to listen for answers.

We admit it, Holy One.
We daily miss opportunities
to be your hands and feet, to offer grace, to act justly.
Not, we insist, because we don’t care,
but because, in the face of so much suffering and pain,
we don’t know what to do.
So we do nothing.

Forgive us, Sacred Presence.
And teach us.
Guide us, instruct us, show us the way.

We may not know –
or at least think we don’t –
but you do.

You know us through and through,
from beginning to end,
all we are, and all we do.
You know what we mean,
regardless of which words escape our lips,
or lie smoldering in the silence of our hearts.

Search us. Know us. Try us. Test us.
Calm our anxious thoughts,
purge all that offends.
Forgive us. Teach us. Show us the way.

silent prayers of confession may be offered here.

Words of Assurance:

Always and forever with us and for us, Holy One,
There is nowhere we can go that is outside
your Presence and your mercy.
You companion us with love, deliver us from despair,
inscribe our names upon your hands and heart.
Friends: believe the Good News of the Gospel,
and be at peace.
In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Opening Prayer by Teri Peterson
Open and closed
Waiting and going for it
Certain and tired of making decisions
Wishing and fearing
Together and distant
God, sometimes it’s hard to tell the weeds from the wheat.
We don’t know the best way forward,
we are overwhelmed at the scale of the task,
and frankly your instructions don’t always make much sense.
Give us the gift of perspective
(or at least, the gift of rest that makes perspective possible)
and turn our minds and hearts to you, even if only for a moment.
We come to worship, to be reminded of our priorities, and more importantly, yours.
Give us courage to bring our whole selves,
contradictions and confusions and all,
to be transformed by your grace once again.

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